VIDEO: Judge Says Second Vial of David Bisard's Blood Can Be Tested
Former IMPD officer charged in crash of police cruiser that killed motorcyclist
Deputy Marion County Prosecutor Denise Robinson (WIBC.com photo: Ray Steele)
A second vial of blood taken from a suspended Indianapolis police officer will be tested to see if it shows he was drunk the day his patrol car struck and killed a motorcyclist almost two years ago.
"I can't really talk about the facts of the case other than to say in our motion, we requested the opportunity to test the second vial, and the courts granted our motion," said Deputy Marion County Prosecutor Denise Robinson on the ruling by Superior Court Judge Grant Hawkins. The judge also granted a prosecution request for a DNA sample to be taken from David Bisard.
The first vial of blood drawn from Bisard after the August 6, 2010 crash that killed Eric Wells showed that Bisard's blood-alcohol level was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit. However, the judge ruled in October 2011 that the technician who drew the first vial was not qualified to do so under state law, and that prosecutors could only use it to charge Bisard with reckless homicide and not drunk driving. Prosecutors want to test the second vial to see if it shows a similar blood-alcohol level as the first, and they want to conduct a DNA test on Bisard to confirm that the blood in the second vial is his.
Bisard's attorney, John Kautzmann, argued that the second vial was irrelevant since the state's current case was built on the first vial. "For some reason now, they want to get into a second vial, a vial that was never sealed when it was originally taken. Seems to be they should be trying to verify the authenticity of the first vial before they try to bootstrap their argument with something from the second," Kautzmann said.
Judge Hawkins ordered that representatives for the defense be present at every step of the testing of the second vial. Hawkins also said simultaneous tests should be conducted on the first vial. Still, Kautzmann wasn't happy. "We're certainly not going to be able to control what happens, so I'm not sure it gives us a lot of control over the effort if we're just allowed to be a fly on the wall, but we'll look at that issue."
The slow moving case will be more than two years old by the time it goes to trial. The next hearing won't be until July 12; it will deal with a motion from Bisard's attorneys on his consent for a blood test. Judge Hawkins gave attorneys on both sides until August 17 to file motions on the science of the case, such as accident reconstruction, and said he hoped to have enough information to finally set a trial date by October. That doesn't mean a trial would begin in October - that's only when the judge would set a date.
"I do agree that this case needs to move along. I believe the court set that in place, and we'll find out what the court of appeals has to say," said Robinson, referring to the prosecution's appeal of Hawkins's ruling that Bisard couldn't be charged with drunk driving. There's no word on when the state Court of Appeals will hear arguments on the issue.
The family of Wells and the two other bikers injured in the crash are trying to be patient, but it's tough. "For any of us to have closure is somewhere down that road," said Eric Wells's father, Aaron. "We can see that it's not around a corner anywhere close."
Former IMPD Officer David Bisard entering the courtroom (WIBC.com video: Ray Steele)